[tex-live] Updating packages over the internet a la MiKTeX

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Sat Jun 5 22:12:16 CEST 2004

On Jun 5, 2004, at 9:59 PM, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:

> Gerben Wierda wrote:
>> Would it be a good time to introduce a versioning and 
>> ready-downloadable (if not already present) approach for the Master 
>> tree? Or better, get CTAN somehow to have such a setup that it can be 
>> used as the MiKTeX repository is used, for automatic updating over 
>> the internet?
> can you explain in a bit more detail what is missing for someone to 
> implement this?

MiKTeX (http://miktex.sourceforge.net) keeps a set of .cab files (some 
sort of archive format for windows) which are submitted by a community. 
These archive files are on every CTAN mirror, btw. There is probably 
also an index somewhere. A MiKTeX installation knows which versions of 
those archives it has installed and can thus detect if there is a newer 
version of a (La)TeX package available. It can even install a missing 
package when this is detected during a TeX run. It does not rely on 
source distribution for (La)TeX packages as there is no generic way of 
installing these. Not all have a "install.ins" file for instance and 
some even require some technical intervention. Hence, MiKTeX lets its 
developer community do the install, create an archive for that and 
distribute *that*.

So, what is needed is a set of archives (not unpacked as implementing 
downloading will be a problem) that can be installed in a texmf tree 
and that have versioning.


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